We used to eat there pretty frequently. At one point an old friend was among the owners. It was up, down, up, closed for a while, then open again. Meantime, we gravitated to neighboring Noni's.
The P'cheen peeps have improved the look of the space, actually reducing the size of the dining room by maybe a third, creating a more intimate space. While the restaurant was mainly deserted, Thursday night's visit was a bunch of fun.
You may have already read about this, but here's a reminder. The bar has disappeared, or at least at first glance. During our meal we watched two guys pull what looked like a huge door near the restrooms open and disappear. Curious, to say the least, Wayne ran over to check things out and found book shelves (left photo). As he stood there frowning, the bookcase suddenly swung open and someone walked through. Yep, the old bar, remodeled and dubbed the Edgewood Speakeasy, is hidden behind the shelves. There are a few other speakeasy-type bars around town, but to a non-drinker like me, this was a novelty. Word is that the place can get way loud when DJs take over the room.
The rest of the restaurant is generally on the quirky side. After we took our seats, we were...ignored for five or more minutes. Finally, I walked over to the open kitchen and asked what the deal was. The chef apologized, took our drink orders, and pointed at a guy on the phone at the check-in area. "That's the waiter," he said. "He'll be right over." I assume he was taking care of a call-in order.
Shortly thereafter, the server headed our way - and veered by us to the back. The chef brought the drinks over. We continued to look over the menu, featuring antipasti and two types of pizzas, thick-crusted New York- and thin-crusted Neapolitan-style. Wayne decided he wanted the over-loaded New York Supreme, exactly the kind of pizza I dislike. He told me I wanted the Neapolitan-style Fico, topped with prosciutto, fig spread, gorgonzola dolce, baby arugula, and 10-year-aged balsamico. He was so right. (Right photo)
The pizzas arrived. Mine - almost dessert-like, as our server said - was the better, although some might object to the almost crackery crust, lacking the gooey style of most Neapolitan pies. Personally, I like a firmer crust that makes lifting the slices less risky to one's clothing. Wayne's sloppier pie was piled with Italian sausage, pepperoni, bell peppers, kalamatas, creminis, red onion, San Marzano sauce, and a three-cheese blend. Two slices make a meal. I bet it's popular with the Georgia State students who visit the area regularly.
By the way, all of the restaurant's meats, like the duck prosciutto, are from the Spotted Trotter.
Last Sunday, chef Zeb Stevenson was preparing his Last Supper, though it wasn't really a last supper by any strict definition of the term. It wasn't a solemn occasion, nothing with an air of finality. Rather, it was a dinner to celebrate the upcoming end to his tenure with Livingston and Proof & Provision, and the yet-to-be-determined new things to come for restaurant and chef alike. It was a chance also to look back, as far back as childhood, to host the kind of meal that he wishes more meals could be like - a gathering of friends, a communal sharing of food. The mere two dozen tickets had gone quickly, everyone there eager to break bread together. As Stevenson said, "looking back, my best meals were always the ones where everyone was laughing and enjoying the company. That's what matters most."
The news sparked an outcry from loyal customers and neighbors, but nothing could be done. The landlord has different plans for the property and decided not to renew Aurora's lease.
This Saturday, a regular customer walked into the java joint, ordered a coffee, and nonchalantly chained himself outside the location in quiet protest. It wasn't a publicity stunt, Aurora's reps tell us.
"This was definitely not planned," says Philip Frobos, Aurora's marketing manager and lead barista. "It was sweet of him to do it though!"
Wine dinner? Beer Tasting? Cooking Class? Let us know. Create a CL account and submit your Food and Drink happs here.
Mon., May 20
Grant Park Farmers Market Mon., May 20, 5-8 p.m. Pop-up farmers market The Grant Park Farmers Market was canceled yesterday due to lightning in the area. To help out vendors with perishable products, Grant Park will be hosting a smaller pop-up market today, Monday, May 20, from 5-8 p.m. The event will be held at the GPFM's usual location in Grant Park at the historic Milledge Fountain at 600 Cherokee Ave. Details
Cook's Warehouse, Brookhaven Mon., May 20, 7 & 9 p.m. Simple Abundance Cooking Class with Chef Linton Hopkins Chef Linton Hopkins will demonstrate how to create farm-to-table cuisine by preparing a three-course meal based on the "surprise" ingredients of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box. Participants will discover the techniques and best practices of farm-to-table cookery. Details
Tue., May 21
Mac McGee's Irish Pub Tue., May 21, 7:30 p.m. Colonel E H Taylor Tasting A rare opportunity to taste the four of the first edition from the Colonel E H Taylor collection: Colonel E H Taylor Rye, Colonel E H Taylor Small Batch, Colonel E H Taylor Tornado, and Colonel E H Taylor Barrel Proof, all for $36. Details
Wed., May 22
Zucca Bar & Pizzeria Wed., May 22, 8 p.m. Wine Wednesday in Venice Paint, drink, and laugh with Get Creative ATL. Enjoy a two-hour painting class taught step-by-step and split a bottle of wine with one other person ... all for $30. Details
Today's pop-up event will be held at the GPFM's usual location in Grant Park at the historic Milledge Fountain at 600 Cherokee Ave.
Umi sushi makes its debut today at 3050 Peachtree Road in Buckhead. With a 23-foot custom bar built from white oak, dark green banquettes, and hand-charred cypress walls, the interior is a scene of aesthetic delight where patrons can enjoy dishes such as yellowtail with jalapeño, spicy tuna kamikaze rolls, and grilled black cod misoyaki.
Ford Fry's much-anticipated open-hearth restaurant, King + Duke, is officially open in the former Nava space at 3060 Peachtree Road. Menu items range from candied lamb belly to charred octopus salad to a little gems salad with chicken schnitzel.
CousCous has quietly opened at 560 Dutch Valley Road. The approachable Mediterranean cuisine is a good fit for the Midtown market - particularly the hungry lunch crowd who want something tasty but affordable. Dishes include Barbary brined pork confit with cauliflower purée, arugula apple salad, and brandied grape sauce; kefteji butternut squash with potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and harissa; and Merguez lamb sausage with kefteji and mint-rosemary aioli.
In-towners now have a dedicated crepe restaurant of their own in Julianna's Coffees & Crepes, newly opened at 775 Lake Ave. The new eatery serves up renditions of the Old World classic from a vintage house in Inman Park, creating sweet and savory varieties that incorporate local produce and Georgia-made preserves. Try indulgent treats like the "Lemon Love" or "the Almighty," combining melted Nutella with fruit, Nutella whipped cream, minced walnut, and bananas.
They weren't my favorite meals at either restaurant. Holy Taco, rather than adding specials for the occasion, actually subtracted all the entrees. It's not that I didn't like my tacos (above). One was made with tongue and the other with fried chicken hearts and kimchi. But I expected to begin the Cinco New Year with my favorite flautas.
The server explained that the menu was abbreviated to accommodate the large crowds. We saw nothing like a crowd. And where was the Mariachi band? Okay, its absence was much appreciated, even if the entrees' absence wasn't.
At Mezcalito's a few days later, I ordered the chilaquiles (right), the kitchen-sink concoction of fried tortilla chips layered with cheese and red and green salsas. Mezcalito's adds sour cream and black beans, plus chicken (or steak) if wanted. I didn't like the stuff during my time in Mexico, but I'd heard some complimentary things about Mezcalito's version. Nope, not for me. Too "gluggy," as my friend Ryan calls food that's relentlessy gooey. I'm sure, though, it would be quite enjoyable after a couple of Margaritas.
Okay, no more Mexican for a few weeks. I promise.
We've done some renovations...We cleaned out the space, painted it and changed the furniture inside and on the patio. I like the contrast of the new furniture (rustic Hacienda style) with the modern china.
The menu is a collaboration of Chef Richard's favorite dishes from a couple of the restaurants he owns - one in Colorado and the other in Washington, DC - and my favorite dishes from Zocalo, like the mole, the pibil, and the chile relleno.
He left me as the executive chef, so I've been traveling back and forth! But we are leaving a kitchen manager/sous chef from one of his restaurants from the west coast.
We will start a "bottomless brunch" on Sundays. We have done that in some of the restaurants here in NY and DC and it has worked amazingly, so hopefully it will work at Zocalo - bottomless brunch and a little extra of bottomless drinks. We will re-start our taco nights: bottomless guacamole and sangria.
It feels like a new beginning, with very good support from Chef Richard and his team.
Lucero was in town last week to celebrate the life of her father who died a few weeks back. I met him soon after Zocalo opened and he radiated pride in his daughter. He backed Lucero and her two brothers in opening the restaurant. She shares a coincidence about him:
The reason he came to the US in the first place (Washington, DC) was to work with NAFTA. He represented the avocado growers in Mexico, and his mission was to bring Mexican avocados to the US. (For many years, Mexican avocados couldn't be transported here.) So he opened the lines for the avocado finally in 1998....To celebrate, there was a dinner with plenty of guacamole and a menu based on avocados. It was at MAYA with Chef Richard Sandoval! Very strange, isn't it? Who would have thought that I would later on work for RS and then have him as a partner in Zocalo!
The report, published this week by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, outlines the culinary facts about insects: they're readily available, they take up a fraction of the space that livestock do when farmed (yes, you can farm bugs), they're a low-carbon protein alternative to meat and poultry, and a nutritious and cheap addition to any diet, especially in countries where malnutrition is rampant. In Uganda and Zambia, the report notes, queen termites are so high in nutrients that they are commonly fed to undernourished children.
Wine dinner? Beer Tasting? Cooking Class? Let us know. Create a Claccount and submit your Food and Drink happs here.
Fri., May 17
Vino Venue Fri., May 17, 7 p.m. Hunger Games-Inspired Feast Come experience the Hunger Games trilogy inspired feast on Friday, May 17 from 7-9:30 pm at Vino Venue. Enjoy a unique selection of hors d ouvres as Chef Jessica Ray prepares a multi course, wine paired meal at the chef's table. Details
May Wine Dinner Fri., May 17, 7 p.m. Join Nikolai's Roof on Fri., May 17, for an intimate evening of food and wine pairings. The event will feature a multicourse dinner from chef Stephanie Alderete, with pairings from the Beaux Freres Vineyard from Oregon's Willamette Valley. Details
Sat., May 18
Battle & Brew Sat., May 18, 4 p.m. Competitors must arrive with cookies baked from scratch with a "Geek Power Up" theme to them, and will be judged by Battle & Brew staff and you. Details
To "I mean really": As the girl who held the 'keys' to his cuffs, I…
Wesley why do you keep following me? Stop conspiring against me!
Pee breaks allowed for a chain-in?
jr, why are u talking?
He's protesting because Aurora has been a community "place" for years. Its a gathering place…
While protesting on behalf of Aurora, he was robbed by 3 men with a silver…